Arlene Astell

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As world populations grow older the incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementia related illnesses increases (approximately 18 million sufferers worldwide). One particularly devastating effect of AD is the loss of short-term memory, which radically impairs the sufferer's ability to communicate. People with dementia, however, often retain a(More)
Recent evidence suggests that the molecular defects associated with the development of diabetes also contribute to an increased risk of all types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and Pick's disease. Indeed, the presence of type II diabetes mellitus results in a two to three fold higher risk of developing dementia [Fontbonne et(More)
CIRCA lets those with short-term memory loss draw on reminiscences to converse with relatives and caregivers. The system, which software engineers, psychologists,and designers developed with caregiver input, features a touch screen that displays photos, music, video, text, and other materials to help those with dementia access long-term memory. This paper(More)
Older people with dementia are a particularly challenging user group to involve in the process of designing interactive systems that could assist them. It may also be difficult to involve family caregivers of people with dementia, as they are most likely to be older themselves and uncertain about technology. Paid care staff, whilst younger, may be unclear(More)
Prospective measurement of nutrition, cognition, and physical activity in later life would facilitate early detection of detrimental change and early intervention but is hard to achieve in community settings. Technology can simplify the task and facilitate daily data collection. The Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing (NANA) toolkit was developed to(More)
OBJECTIVE To examine the factors that predicted discharge destinations of all patients admitted to a combined geriatric medicine/old age psychiatry unit over a 4-year period. METHOD Data regarding discharge destinations, active medical problems and demographics of 234 patients admitted to the unit were analysed using non-parametric bivariate correlation(More)
Reminiscing is a positive pastime for people with dementia but little is known about selecting materials to prompt reminiscing, particularly whether personal items are more useful than generic ones. This paper reports two small studies, the first using personal stimuli (family photographs) and the second generic photographs of annual events to examine their(More)